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Advantages of eFPGA | disadvantages of eFPGA

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of eFPGA and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of eFPGA and drawbacks or disadvantages of eFPGA.

What is eFPGA?

• eFPGA is the short form of Embedded FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). It is available in the form of IP core which can be integrated on ASIC or SoC to achieve programmable logic. The other components of traditional FPGA chips e.g. GPIOs, SERDES and PHYs are not integrated on SoC or ASIC.
• Using eFPGA, one can define quantity of LUTs, embedded memory, registers and DSP blocks.
• It is easy to control aspect ratio and number of I/O ports.
• This helps to make tradeoff between power consumption and performance.

eFPGA on a SoC or ASIC
Figure-1 : eFPGA

FPGA architecture fig1
Figure-2 : FPGA architecture

• Figure-3 depicts reconfigurable RTL which is FPGA core. Other components of SoC such as DSP, CPU, SRAM, hardwired RTL are also shown.
• The eFPGA IP can be licensed and placed inside an ASIC or SoC. It is available from number of vendors.
• Refer FPGA Architecture and difference between eFPGA and FPGA.

Benefits or advantages of eFPGA

Following are the benefits or advantages of eFPGA:
➨It offers high performance and low latency as it can be interfaced with ASIC using parallel interface. As eFPGA buses are hundreds of bits wide, it can run at very high speed.
➨It consumes less power due to number of reasons such as it can be directed connected to SoC which eliminates programmable I/O buffers. Moreover it can be scalable in size to suit custom requirements.
➨eFPGA offers lower overall system cost as it does not require specialized PCBs and other components e.g. clock generators, power regulators, level shifters etc. Moreover it does not require bulky and heavy packages.
➨eFPGA offers greater flexibility as it can be customized post production also unlike FPGA.
➨It offers high system reliability and yields.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of eFPGA

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of eFPGA:
➨Use of eFPGAs in ASIC or SoC designs has become threat for companies such as Xilinx and Intel offering stand-alone FPGAs.

Conclusion: In order to understand advantages of eFPGA and disadvantages of eFPGA one has to understand eFPGA basics >> and its comparison with traditional FPGA.


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